Tapering for a 110 mile race

Hello everyone,

I’m on the last week of the mid-volume Century plan. I’ve done the Sweet Spot Base and Sustained Power Build plans (both mid-volume) prior to this. My big race is an undulating 110 mile bike race on Sunday 16th June.

I had given myself a 3-4 week buffer to allow for disruptions but I haven’t had many. My plan is to now replace this last easy week with continued middle-of-plan sessions from the Century plan up until 1st week in June and then ask you guys about a good taper routine.

Any advice appreciated.


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Sounds like you got 4 weeks until your event. I would finish Week 8 of the Century plan as prescribed and then repeat weeks 5 through 8 of the Century plan. That should have you doing the recovery week leading into your event. If you think you need more recovery time then swap out week 7 with some lower intensity work.

Your idea suggests replacing week 8 with intensity, and adding another 2 weeks of intensity after doing 3 weeks of intensity (total of 6 weeks of intensity) is likely going to push you too far before giving your self a chance to recover.

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I don’t have any quotes off hand but I believe it was Andy Coggan, in one of his technical papers that discussed the duration of a taper in days for different styles of athletes. The summary was for track or crit races (high I.F.) a duration of a week or a little more was ideal. For longer endurance athletes (lower I.F.) a much shorter time period would work, even as low as a day or two.

I would suggest a quick google search to find that paper as it was a good read.

Good luck at your event!

don’t taper too much, as for longer events you need Form over Freshness. That being said, you don’t want to carry a ton of fatigue into it either. A generic taper into the event would be: less volume two weeks out, but still some intensity. Then, week of the event:

Monday: rest
Tuesday: 2 x 10 @ 100% FTP
Wednesday: Endurance Pace, 70-75% FTP, 1.5-2h
Thursday: Openers, 5 x 30s @ 120% FTP, 1 hour total ride
Friday: Rest
Saturday: Openers, 5 x 30s @ 120% FTP, 1 hour total ride

Brendan - EVOQ.BIKE


Thanks Andy, that makes sense.

Is the last week a taper anyway?

Thanks Brendan, yeah, i was always taught to keep some short intensity leading up to the race.

I think all 3 bits of advice can be combined. Good to hear from you guys, thanks very much. Just hope my new Veloflex Carbon rear tub holds out!

are you sold on using tubular for that? is there a support car behind?
used those exact tires years ago and was not a fan; not scaring you! Just want to give you a heads up.

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Alway faired well with the advice on tapering in here:

Going Long: Training for Triathlon’s Ultimate Challenge https://www.amazon.de/dp/1934030066/ref=cm_sw_r_cp_apa_i_Sqe3Cb8ASDC7T

I’m not a triathlete, find it still extremely helpful

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It’s my biggest fear, i blew 2 veloflex extremes on a race route recce, always the sidewall. I’ve learnt how to change it roadside but it would be the end of a fast time. I’ve looked at other tubs but everyone seems to agree that these Veloflex are unbeatable if you can live with the risk!

Fitness-wise, thanks to following TrainerRoad and advice in the forum, I’m averaging 36kph over the undulating bike route (practjce/training), that was the target
for the race so happy with where I am.

The race in question is a triathlon relay, extra pressure as I’ll let the swimmer and runner down too!

good luck! i wouldn’t want to flat; vittoria pave! lol

The last week of the Century plan is designed to be a recovery week rather than a taper. As mentioned in some of the other replies keep the work load low but throw in some short high intensity intervals.

Have done a fair few long events in both cycling (centuries up to 10+ hour MTB event) and triathlon (Ironman), would say the tapering requirements are significantly different due to the run. Need a much longer taper when running is involved than with pure cycling due to the impact that running has on the legs.

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What did you end up doing? I’m in a similar boat (but with a 2 week buffer vs your 4). I was thinking of redoing a couple of weeks, but it looks like i might have to travel for work the week prior to my event.